Codegarden 2024: Highlights and key takeaways

Headshot of Amy Czuba

Account Director

4 minute read

Last week, the Umbraco community gathered in Odense, Denmark, for Codegarden 2024, the flagship conference for users and developers. The event provided a unique opportunity to connect with the community and learn about the latest innovations shaping the platform's future. Here are some of the standout moments from a fantastic four days.

Last week, the Umbraco community gathered in Odense, Denmark, for Codegarden 2024, the flagship conference for users and developers of the platform. Spanning four days, this event is the world's largest gathering of Umbraco enthusiasts, offering a unique opportunity to connect with fellow community members and learn about the latest innovations shaping the platform's future. 

Key themes for the future of Umbraco 

  1. Umbraco search: In the age of AI where more and more content is being produced, a big focus was on search capabilities.
  2. Personalised experiences: Lots of talk around personalising experiences for different personas and customer journeys, within Umbraco itself, to deliver highly relevant content based on individual preferences and behaviours. 
  3. Generative AI: Integrating generative AI into the platform in a sustainable way was another major theme, to help content editors for media and content management. We’d like to see this being leveraged for improving the accessibility and sustainability of content production. 
  4. Orchestration: Discussions on orchestration emphasised the importance of efficient and effective management of various components and processes within the Umbraco ecosystem.

Two new community teams 

We learnt about the addition of two new community teams, for cyber security and commerce! 

With a new cyberattack occurring every 29 seconds and global cybercrime costs expected to grow to $10.5 trillion, the importance of security is growing. The conference highlighted a 72% increase in breaches, underscoring the vulnerability of smaller companies and countries. In a week where we saw the effects of cyberattacks on the NHS, the conversation felt especially timely. In response, a new community team dedicated to security and privacy was announced, aiming to develop guidelines and best practices to protect the Umbraco community. 

The commerce capabilities of Umbraco have grown over recent years. With the launch of UmbracoCommerce, building on the success of uCommerce, retailers have all the tools to build compelling e-commerce offerings on their website. As we look to increase our footprint in the responsible retail space, we enjoyed learning more about this, and look forward to collaborating with the new community team to ensure that features are sustainable and accessible. 

MVP recognition 

This year, 26 new MVPs were announced, taking the grand total to 100 Umbraco MVPs. These awards celebrate the achievements of community members who contribute their own time to making Umbraco the open and friendly platform it is! I was proud to become our newest MVP, and one of only a handful of non-technical Umbraco MVPs, awarded for contributions to the Umbraco Sustainability Community Team formed last year. This year's awards also represent Rachel Breeze, Danny Lancaster and Matt Wise, being awarded MVP status x5 times consecutively.

A group shot featuring many of Umbraco's MVPs at Codegarden

Umbraco MVPs celebrate their awards

Sustainability Table Talk 

I also hosted a table talk with the Sustainability Community Team to explore how Umbraco solutions can be created in an environmentally responsible way. We discussed topics from optimising code for efficiency, using renewable energy for hosting, designing a wider greener service and good habits that we can all adopt to make a greater collective change. It was great to listen to new ideas that we can take forward into the year ahead!

The Umbraco Sustainability Community Team sit around a table in discussion

Key takeaways  

  • Jason Wodicka - Being Human: Jason's talk delved into historical predictions about AI, referencing the Turing Test and the concept of the Turk machine, which played chess with a hidden human inside. He explored how human attributes are often assigned to machines when they exhibit human-like behavior and questioned whether AI like ChatGPT passes the Turing Test, highlighting the philosophical idea of "I think, therefore I am 
  • Rick Butterfield - A blueprint for green websites: Rick Butterfield, a fellow sustainability community team member, delivered a great session on tools and best practices for creating environmentally friendly websites. The way that he aligned the W3C standards, carbon calculators, and Umbraco best practice guide to real life code demos was fantastic. I really enjoyed learning more about the National Grid API, and how some websites are starting to use the data from that to make design decisions for the front end of their website in real time.  
  • Patrick Hill - Designing for Nonprofits: It’s no secret that we love working with charities and non-profits. So I was excited to attend Patrick's talk which focused on emphasising engagement, trust, and conversions through accessible storytelling. He highlighted the use of accessibility tools at his agency and the importance of designing for users with lower digital skills. I loved seeing how his team created responsive designs to improve usability, especially for on-the-ground workers operating in challenging environments. 
  • Feline Hermans - Creating a programming language for everyone: This was a pretty mind-blowing talk, Feline actually created a programming language (Hedy) to teach children how to code. The way she spoke about programming as an important human skill, especially in the age of AI was brilliant, and I felt like this went hand in hand with Jason’s talk.  


Codegarden 2024 was a resounding success, offering valuable insights into the future of Umbraco. With a strong focus on innovation, security, and sustainability, the platform is well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of its community. We look forward to seeing how these discussions and initiatives shape the future of Umbraco in the coming years. 

It was really refreshing to hear more than one voice talking about realistic applications of AI, there is so much scaremongering around AI replacing human competence and skills, but the conference was really centred around how we can approach AI from a humanistic point of view, to make it work for us.   

It was also lovely to see more emphasis on Sustainability this year, woven throughout various talks as a key stakeholder, rather than within one dedicated talk. I hope that continues. 

Bring on 2025!